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Emily Lakdawalla, Friday, 5-30-14 May 31, 2014

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Emily Lakdawalla, Friday, 5-30-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2252-BWB-2014-05-30.mp3

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Guest:  Emily Lakdawalla.  Topics:  The Planetary Society, space geology, robotic & science missions, science mission budget.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Emily Lakdawalla to the program to discuss space science missions, The Planetary Society, space & outer planet geology.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Emily went over her background and how she came to have an interest in space and in particular space science and geology.  Some of our topics included the tectonics of Venus, asteroid mining, her interest in the outer planets of the solar system, and science missions either ongoing or to be conducted in the future.  I mentioned a possible Europa mission which led to a Europa discussion and Emily talking about the ESA JUICE mission (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer).  We talked about being able to cut the travel time to the outer planets for science missions and our guest mentioned the possible use of SLS to do that.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Also in this segment, we talked about upcoming comet and asteroid mission, then we switched gears to discuss robotic challenges.  Here, Emily pointed out the time lag for communications to Mars and beyond makes telerobotic control difficult at best.  We talked about having a Mars orbiter to control surface robots.  Were we doing this, the robots could be simpler as they would not need as much autonomous capabilities as they need now based on Earth communications.  Emily told us about Planetary Society projects and programs, we talked about man in the street interviews regarding space & our guest shared her experiences with us when Shuttle Endeavour came to Los Angeles.  Near the end of this long segment, Kepler came up, questions came up about Earth geology being similar to the geology of the planets, the lack of fossil fuels on other planets, then Doug called with a question about coalition building & the NASA science budget.  As the segment ended, we asked Emily about robotic exploration as compared to having a human geologist on the surface of the planet. BJohn from Sweden sent us emails about Curiosity on Mars and Venus.

In our second segment, we talked about relevant time spans and how missions get prioritized.  Emily went over the Venus challenges.  She was asked if the Planetary Society would try another Phobos-Grunt mission and we talked about their project, the Mars Microphone to bring back to Earth the sounds from Mars.  Toward the end of the program, Emily was asked about the importance of lowering launch costs for science missions and the promotion of space advocacy.

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Emily through The Planetary Society or me.

Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14 May 5, 2014

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Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2237-BWB-2014-05-04.mp3

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Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topics:  We discussed our guests new book, “Innovation The NASA Way” plus our space policy, reusability & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases, including “Innovation The NASA Way,” can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rod Pyle to the show to discuss his new book, “Innovation The NASA Way: Harnessing The Power Of Your Organization For Breakthrough Success,” plus we talked about our space policy, reusability, and other issues.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 52 minute show, Mr. Pyle started by giving us an overview of his background and experiences that led him to writing this book.  Specifically, Rod led leadership training at NASA’s JSC for executives.  From this background, he used the story telling format to illustrate NASA innovation.  Each chapter tells a different story, several of which we highlighted in our discussion.  Rod mentioned innovation at various NASA centers but did say JPL stood out for him.  When asked for the most innovative NASA projects, he talked about some projects that were left on the editor’s computer including the Apollo Guidance Control Computer but he did focus on and highlight the Lunar Module.  We also talked about NASA today and back in the Apollo days. Rod had much to say about this, including how today there seems to be a push for guaranteed results which of course do not exist.  He said NASA was known by three important key words:  Boldness, Daring and Passion.  Listeners asked about reusability and I mentioned a possible reusability moment similar to the previous Apollo moment.

In the second segment, we talked about his Viking chapter & the Viking experiments.  John from Ft. Worth called in regarding a smaller shuttle plan that might have been less ambitious – would it have been better? Questions came about NewSpace and innovating the SpaceX way!  Doug called and did not think that there would be a Reusability Moment like with Apollo but that reusability enhanced prospects for that type of moment, like a manned Mars mission.  Rod was challenged with questions from the perspective that Apollo was the wrong way to go to and develop space.  We talked about his forthcoming book, “Curiosity: The Inside Story” and our excitement over a potential Europa mission.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. For more information & to contact Rod, visit his website http://www.rodpylebooks.com.

Dr. Gil Levin, Sunday, 3-9-14 March 10, 2014

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Dr. Gil Levin, Sunday, 3-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2203-BWB-2014-03-09.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.   Topics:  Possible life on Mars, Viking Labeled Release Experiments, Chiral Labeled Release Experiments.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

Dr. Gil Levin returned as our guest to continue his discussion about the Viking Landers and the search for life through the labeled release experiments.  In the first segment of our 95 minute show, Dr. Levin explained the labeled release experiment plus he went through the analysis and conclusions which point to Viking having found molecular life on Mars.  He talked at length about the refusal of NASA to confirm these findings though in private many scientists, including several from NASA, have told him that his conclusions are likely correct.  Gil also talked about several recent television appearances he has had regarding the Viking landers and his experiment.  Listeners asked him many questions, including what NASA is doing to continue the search for life on Mars.  He said nothing and then talked about Curiosity & some of the other rovers and orbiting satellites and what they are focused on doing.  He also talked scheduled experiments but have yet to be done.  It is worth noting that the Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers sat down 4,000 miles from one another yet their labeled release experiments produced similar results.  Gil mentioned some concern for the durability of the Curiosity rover, specifically its wheels as well as the quality of scientific journalism and the press.  He is hoping key experiments are done prior to the end of Curiosity.

In the second segment, we talked about a Mars sample return mission.  Gil was not supportive of such a mission due to the risk of the samples being toxic to us here on Earth.  We had quite the discussion on this subject.  John from Ft. Worth called wondering about the impact life on Mars would have on us here on Earth.  Next, Gil was asked what experiments should be done to confirm life on Mars.  Gil talked about doing a chiral labeled release experiment.  Don’t miss our detailed discussion on this experiment and why it would be so important to do it on Mars.  Toward the end, we talked about Dr. Levin’s current work, his teaching, and his perseverance for confirming the findings of the Viking 1 and 2 labeled release experiments.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Dr. Levin through my address, drspace@thespaceshow.com.

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-5-14 February 6, 2014

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-5-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2181-BWB-2014-02-05.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. David Grinspoon, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Ceres and water, asteroids, Vesta & more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Dr. David Grinspoon to discuss with John Batchelor and myself the recent discovery of the water spout on Ceres, the water to Earth theories, asteroids and comets for water.  We then shifted to Mars and the news of a new crater discovery, plus Curiosity climbing a 3 foot sand dune and more.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Tuesday, 1-21-14 January 22, 2014

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Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Tuesday, 1-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2170-BWB-2014-01-21.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. William (Bill) Farrand.  Opportunity’s tenth anniversary, Mars rovers and science.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Dr. Farrand back to the show to talk about Opportunity’s 10th anniversary on the surface of Mars, Mars rovers in general and Martian science.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 37 minute discussion, Dr. Farrand was asked about 10 years for Opportunity effective Jan. 24 and to why he thought Opportunity was still going strong after ten years.  He gave credit to the JPL engineers that designed and built the rover and those that keep the systems going.  We talked about the loss of a few of Opportunity’s instruments over the past ten years plus the current science being done by the rover.  We also talked about its path to Endeavour Crater.  In response to one of my questions, Opportunity has traveled about 38 KM since it first landed on Mars ten years ago.  He also said the science was as exciting today as it was when Opportunity first started.  Listen to how he described the rover’s evolution with science and its work over the past decade.  From time to time, other Mars rover science questions and comments came up, especially related to comparing Curiosity to Opportunity.  Our guest was asked about Earth analog sites for Mars, then water on Mars.  Cathy asked how they kept the solar panels clear of dust for maximum solar power to the rover.  He said they rely on Martian winds to dust off the panels.  We also talked about bandwidth communications and the use of the Deep Space Network (DSN).

In the second segment, we talked about our guest’s, www.farrviewconsulting.com plus the pictures posted on the site. We also talked about the special rover exhibit now underway at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.  You can see some photos from the exhibit along with a picture of our guest on the website.  As you will hear, some of the photos in the exhibit were taken by Spirit before it suffered its untimely demise.  Bill was asked several questions about technology advancement from rover to rover and Mars in general.  Later, we talked about humans on Mars, the use of Phobos, and then Doug called in to ask if it was worth the cost to put humans on Mars given how many more rovers we could put on Mars for the cost of just one human mission.  As the program was ending, Dr. Farrand summarized his thoughts on ‘Oppy” and ten years, again giving a shootout to JPL engineers.  He said the outcome of Oppy was paradigm shifting!  The final question was from Sally asking about Martian fossils.  Don’t miss Bill’s final comments regarding this question.

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Dr. Farrand can be reached through his website or me.

Golden Oldie Tom Olson Space Year 2011 in Review, Sunday, 12-29-13 December 29, 2013

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Golden Oldie Tom Olson Space Year 2011 in Review, Sunday, 12-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2153-BWB-2013-12-29.mp3

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Guest: Tom Olson. Topics: The year 2011 in review regarding all space issues. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

Welcome to our Golden Oldie Decade of Review, this year with the space year 2011. Tom Olson was our reviewer for this 2011 review, aired live on Dec. 27, 2011.  We had much to cover in this 105 minute program. Tom started out reminding us that 2011 was the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight. He told us about the banner year for Yuri’s Night parties around the globe celebrating this important milestone and specifically about the even he attended in New Your City. Next, he pointed out the recent National Press Club talk given by Elon Musk on going to Mars and building the rockets to take us there, plus his recent New Scientist interview which you can read in full on the Mars Society website. Tom commented that the sky was actually falling in 2011 with two large junk satellites coming back to Earth. We also talked about the return of Phobos Grunt to earth probably in early to mid-January 2012. One of the big events we discussed for 2011 was the retirement of the shuttle. This led us to discussing the recent Chinese space rendezvous and the fact that China is now the number two launching country behind Russia having overtaken the U.S. this year. Planetary missions were part of our year in review with Vesta and Dawn, the Kepler Space Telescope, MSL with Curiosity. New Horizons continued its journey to Pluto and Explorer 1 continued beyond our solar system. Tom talked about SLS and the ORION MPC Vehicle, plus the James Webb Space Telescope and its cost issues in the context of its impact on the NASA budget. Soyuz rocket problems along with all the Russian rocket failures this year were fair game for our discussion. I asked Tom what he thought of the idea of SLS as a place holder for skill sets and technology until our space program improves. Don’t miss his answer. He brought up Virgin Galactic’s drop tests this year, especially the last one where trouble showed up. Making news for 2011 were NASA and space industry workforce layoffs and the successful Falcon 9 and Dragon launch. At the end of the first segment, Bigelow Aerospace was in our spotlight. In segment two, Tom led off with XCOR news, Terry called wondering about CCDEV3 and Tom suggested program winners! Don’t miss his prediction. He also was asked to predict the cancellation year for SLS. Don’t miss this prediction as well. We talked about the upcoming New Space Business Plan Competition for 2012, the prizes which are the largest ever, and the timing. If this interests you, make sure to stay tuned for more information. Later in the segment we began a summary of our discussion and 2011. Tom was asked about the space elevator and the Lunar Space Elevator. We wrapped up our discussion talking about growth in the space conferences even in the tough economic year of 2011.

Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  You can email Tom through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Dr. David Brain, Friday, 12-13-13 December 14, 2013

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Dr. David Brain, Friday, 12-13-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2142-BWB-2013-12-13.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. David Brain.  Topics: Mars MAVEN Mission, Mars science.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Dr. David Brain of the NASA MAVEN Mission team to the program for a discussion about MAVEN and Mars science.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 22 minute program, Dr. Brain provided us with an overview of the MAVEN Mission which was launched on Nov. 18.  As we heard, it is on track for its orbital insertion around Mars on Sept. 22, 2014.  I asked Dr. Brain if he thought Mars orbits were getting crowded and also if he knew if there were traffic management issues in orbiting Mars.  We also talked about the Indian Mars mission, Mangalyaan, as it was launched a few days before MAVEN and will arrive shortly after MAVEN arrives at Mars.  Dr. Brain, in describing MAVEN, said it was going to answer two questions:  1) What happened to the atmosphere of Mars and 2) What happened to the water and where did it go?  We then talked about the absence of a Martian magnetic field but we learned that there are strongly magnetized rocks along the edges and such rocks are 10-20 times the magnetic strength of similar rocks on Earth.  Dr. Brain provided us with theories on this.  We extrapolated that it was possible for something similar to happen on Earth.  He also talked about magnetic fields, how one might generate a magnetic field on Mars & more.  This latter point was in reply to a listener question asking if terraforming included creating a Martian magnetic field.  Our next topic dealt with how these types of missions are developed, the hardware and scientific tool risk issues, the use of heritage hardware and instruments, program funding, and review panels.  Marshall called and talked about instrument redundancy, electronic improvements from mission to mission and more.  We also talked about sending data back to Earth using the Deep Space Network (DSN).  This brought up questions about private Mars missions using the DSN for their communications.

In the second segment, Doug called to ask how MAVEN was impacted by the government shutdown. Dave relayed the shutdown stories to us which were most interesting, especially since it went right up to the minute for possible mission delays of 18-24 months.  In fact, MAVEN did get an exemption from the shutdown but not because of its science.  It was exempted because of its function as a communications relay satellite.  Also in this segment, Dave responded to listener questions asking how the instruments are designed, tested, and protected for their trip to Mars so they would be sure to work.  Dave took us through the entire process for planning, designing, developing and testing hardware & operating components  over and over again.    This is a fascinating inside look at what is involved in a successful Mars, lunar, or planetary mission.  Doug then asked about methane on Mars and here Dave had much to say about competing methane theories and the latest findings from instruments on Mars including Curiosity.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Dr. Brain can be contacted through me.

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-11-13 December 12, 2013

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-11-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2141-BWB-2013-12-11.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Chinese Chang’e 3 launch to the Moon, their lunar program.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

During our 11 minute plus discussion, John, Dr. Farrand & I discussed the upcoming tenth anniversary for the Mars rover Opportunity.  We talked about what Opportunity was currently doing on Mars, its climb up Solander Point, roving on Endeavour Crater, and more. We talked about wintering over to keep warm.  We also talked about Spirit and what happened to it, plus lessons learned from the Spirit sand trap.  We talked about Opportunity as compared to Curiosity, then I asked if the geology on Mars was the same as Earth. For example, was igneous rock on Mars the same as igneous rock on Earth?  As you will hear, for the most part they are the same but there are differences and different formations with different characteristics.  Also discussed were water flows and a study of the Martian atmosphere and water flows by the en route Maven mission.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13 November 2, 2013

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2113-BWB-2013-11-01.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project, human spaceflight EDL & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Dr. Anita Sengupta to discuss the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project for which Dr. Sengupta is the project manager.  CAL is to launch to the ISS in early 2016, probably aboard the SpaceX Dragon though that has yet to be confirmed but the project needs a ride on a pressurized spacecraft.  For more information on the CAL project and mission, check out these websites: http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov; http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov/news/FunPhysicsResearch. During this 64 minute discussion, Dr. Sengupta explained the CAL project to us, ultra cool quantum gasses in absolute zero and in zero gravity to establish a Force Free Environment which means no gravity pull.  We talked about laser cooling and the series of experiments likely to be done on the ISS with CAL based on the NASA Research Announcement which has a submittal date of Nov. 5, 2013.  We talked about atomic physics and many related topics, including the mechanics of the project, the need to place CAL in a rack as close to the center of gravity on the ISS as possible for the closest point to zero gravity. Listeners asked lots of questions about CAL, but they also had questions for Anita  regarding her expertise in entry, descent, and landing (EDL) from her recent work with Curiosity and the super sonic parachute.  In talking about human spaceflight, at one point Anita remarked that CAL was a hybrid project as it is definitely a robotic science mission but they interface with the ISS astronauts so CAL and the team have feet in both worlds.  In talking about the CAL hardware, we learned it was designed as an ORU, an orbital replacement unit.  Doug called in regarding EDL on Mars from Phobos and the use of strategically placed propellant depots in orbit around Mars and how that might simply a Martian EDL.  Anita provided much technical information on this subject and we learned that the actual EDL is driven by the entry mass and the need to dissipate energy. She talked about the difference in  a human EDL protocol and a robotic mission EDL protocol and said the human EDL has not yet been devised or worked out.  Near the end of the program, Anita explained more about laser cooling, including photons pushing atoms which slows them down and makes them cooler.  This enables more accurate laser tuning for the research. Susan asked her if she learned about the engineering for her project from grad school or from OJT.  As you will hear, the basics from grad school and the specifics OTJ.  Near the end of our program, we talked about the role of a project manager and auditing Anita’s USC class which might be possible when she teaches an upcoming graduate class online. We also talked about career choices and would one rather work on a humans to Mars flight or robotic missions.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Dr. Sengupta provided her contact information on air at the end of the program or you can email her through me if you prefer.

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13 October 8, 2013

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Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2101-BWB-2013-10-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.  Topics:  Life on Mars, Viking 1 and 2, Labeled Release Experiments, NASA & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Dr. Gil Levin to continue our discussion about Viking 1 and 2, the possibility of finding life on Mars, and the Viking Labeled Release Experiment.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 21 minute discussion, Dr. Levin explained why the name “Labeled Release Experiment” was used rather than his first choice, Gulliver.  Dr. Levin talked about liquid water on Mars with the findings that there is probably 2% liquid water in the surface area.  He compared that to the amounts of water found in in dry soils on Earth which supports microbial life.  He also talked about complex organics which he says has not yet been confirmed though he questions why certain Curiosity experiments which he believes have been done have yet to release their findings.  Rick was our first caller with questions about water, NASA policy, and green spots found on rock and what that might mean.  Gil also spoke about his presentation at the SPIE Conference recently held in San Diego and the panel he was part of with a NASA representative.

In the second segment, Gil took a question about the meaning of perchlorates on Mars, he addressed additional questions on liquid water and discussed the recent press releases from NASA and others that there was no methane on Mars and what this might mean for looking for life on the Red Planet.  Regarding methane, our guest had much to say and that the findings were not conclusive for all of Mars nor does there have to be methane for organics.  I asked him about the timelines involved in Viking 1 and 2 and you might be surprised to learn it was a 20 year process.  A listener asked about the odds of finding intelligent life on Mars and our guest said pretty slim.  He was also asked about searching for life elsewhere in the solar system and he said Mars was the best choice and listed the reasons why, including the economics of space exploration.  A listener asked if Curiosity & other missions were shut down due to the government budget crisis. Doug emailed us that Curiosity was still up and running.  Later, Doug called at the end of the show to inquire about possible organic detection using the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) from Spirit and Opportunity. We concluded with Dr. Levin suggesting we contact NASA to release information about the green spots on Mars and liquid organic analysis of the surface. Also during this segment and not related to Mars, a listener asked Gil a few questions about his WW2 experience in the Merchant Marine in the N. Atlantic and the Pacific.  It was an interesting digression and I still found a way to connect it to space and Mars!

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Dr. Levin through his website, www.gillevin.com.

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